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Guest ratings and perceptions?

I have Instant Book, but I believe I checked the additional guest requirement “Recommendation from other hosts: You can limit bookings to guests who’ve traveled on Airbnb and received only positive reviews from other hosts.” Can someone clarify what “positive reviews” mean (i.e., above 4 stars? or just a thumbs up for “recommend”)?

Also, as hosts, what are your perceptions of potential guests based on the ratings they have received from other hosts? I feel like there’s a lot of inflation for host reviews and people always want the 5 star reviews. So I guess what I’m asking is, would you feel wary of hosting a guest with a 4 or 4.5 star review on something like “Observation of house rules”?

I just remember a while ago someone had made an inquiry (a bargain hunter) and I saw that this person had 3.5 stars for the house rules review, and it really made me think twice. I ended up not sending the guy a proposed discount because of all the covid stay-at-home orders and shutting down my STR for the duration. But anyway, just wondering what everyone’s general perceptions are when it comes to seeing guests’ star ratings.

My understanding is that if you flag that you would not host again, the guest is then not recommended, and cant instant book.

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I use IB so I never look at a guest’s reviews in order to evaluate them. Sometimes I look at a guest’s reviews just before they arrive to see what other hosts have said about them.

What’s confusing is that almost every day we get hosts here at the forum complaining that guests have given them inaccurate reviews. I imagine that hosts give inaccurate reviews too. Every host has different standards.

So, in answer, no I don’t really trust other hosts to have evaluated a guest to my own standards. My own standards aren’t as severe as a lot of hosts. :slight_smile:

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This why it’s so important for hosts not only to rate appropriately, but also make it clear in the written review what the issues were. Non-IB hosts can’t even see the star ratings of guests- all we have to go on is the written reviews.

If I could see the star ratings, I would look at that in tandem with not only the written review, but how many reviews they actually had. If a guest had a 4.5 Observation of House Rules rating, but that was only after 1 or 2 reviews, I’d take it with a grain of salt. Some hosts have such a long list of micro-managing rules, that it could be the host who’s a fusspot, rather than the guest having been disrespectful. I remember reading one home-share host’s post where she was asking if she should mark the guest down on following house rules, because she had caught the guest wandering into the living room with a glass of wine. The guest hadn’t spilled it or anything, and when the host reminded her of no food or drink in the living room, the guest apologized and said she forgot. Otherwise, the host said she was a very good guest.

I’ve never travelled as an Airbnb guest, but I can imagine that guests who use Airbnb a lot could be forgiven for sometimes forgetting what the house rules are here as opposed to there. “Okay, now does she want me strip the bed and put it in the washing machine, or in the bathtub, or leave it on the bed?” as they’re rushing around trying to check out on time.

And unless a guest just has bad ratings and reviews across the board, I don’t see anything wrong with messaging the guest to say “I have some concerns about the cleanliness rating I see on your account. Would you mind sharing what happened for you to be marked down, as I would be reticent to accept a booking from a guest who didn’t clean up after themselves.” Some guests are indeed capable of learning and being better guests the next time, they just didn’t know what the expectations were, and the host didn’t make them clear.

I read a rather heart-wrenching post from a distressed guest who had been given a low rating for something- house rules or cleanliness, can’t remember. The guest said in her post that she’s autistic and grew up in a situation where it was assumed that she was incapable of learning, therefore she wasn’t taught basic life skills. She said that if the host had made it clear exactly what she wanted the guest to do and how, she would have totally complied, but she’s just not able to know what is acceptable behavior if it’s not explained to her.

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When I first started doing Airbnb I had Instant Booking. For me it was a nightmare. I quickly changed it “to request to book.” Wishing you better luck with IB.

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I don’t IB either. Too risky for my taste.

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Shared home host with IB and host recommendations or they have to request to book.

I’ve done this three times and it’s worked out well. The first time I asked about a negative review, the potential guest went ballistic. Bullet dodged. The next two times each guest explained the circumstances, I accepted, and we had a lovely time together.

Ask nicely if you have questions (I have IB with recommendations so they all had to request) and you’ll get your answers.

I don’t do discounts except for stays longer than 7 or 19 days. Period. There are cheaper options in my neighborhood without the amenities I offer (pool is big one). Want the pool? Pay up. :wink:

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Can I ask you what counted as a negative review? Was it a negative written review in the comments or did the guest just have low stars (and if so, how low of stars?).

I’m also trying to gauge what is the appropriate rating system to do for guests because I don’t want to be over-harsh and make it hard for folks to book in the future (because usually they turn out really nice and reasonable when I bring up the fact that they broke a house rule), but I also want to be honest and well… a rule broken is still a rule broken (not small things, but rather, a main rule that’s listed over and over in the listing, my check-in guide, etc.).

If a guest turns out to be nice and reasonable when you bring it up, as you say, I wouldn’t necessarily mark them down much, maybe 4*s for house rules, even though it’s written in your rules in many places. Some people just don’t bother to read thoroughly. And none of us are perfect. I’m sure we wouldn’t want guests to call us out on everything we might do that didn’t sit well with them. I’ve always felt that guests and hosts need to cut each other a bit of slack.

It depends what the result of breaking house rules is, IMO. If they neglected to take off their shoes at the door, and tracked mud all over the carpets, necessitating a major carpet cleaning, I’d consider that a reason to mark down and mention something in the written review. If they simply brought a glass of wine into the living room to sip on while they watched a movie, and didn’t spill any or leave a ring on the table, like the case I mentioned above, and said “Oh, sorry, forgot” and didn’t do it again, I’d never mention it.

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That seems fair to me! Totally makes sense to leave the smaller stuff alone and look at the bigger picture.

My guests either get 5-stars or 1-star. The in-between stuff is so subjective anyway.

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2 reviews for guest, older couple (70s). First from a woman host who blasted them in stars and in comments about not following rules and making a huge mess (he’s a painter, wanted long term reservation and I didn’t want the painting mess either, I’m not set up with separate studio accommodations for oil paints).

Their second review was glowing. I wrote, asked about the first one and he went off the rails about her being inappropriate with him and that he wasn’t going to sully his name by putting that information on the internet in our Inbox. I called Air and they canceled penalty free.

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Thanks for sharing! Just from the way he responded, sounds like you may have dodged a bullet there!

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